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  1. #1
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    Default The difference between "anxious" and "worried"

    Hi,

    Could you please tell me the difference in meaning between anxious and worried here?

    I'm worried/anxious about her because she is ill.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    RedReview is offline Newbie
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    Default re: The difference between "anxious" and "worried"

    Anxious usually said when you the outcome or event to happen, while on the other hand worried is usually said when you don't want it to happen.

    An example of these two in a sentence,

    "I'm anxious to go on a date with my girlfriend after class." This is (usually) a good thing that you want.

    "I'm worried that my girlfriend is going to dump me."
    Normally you don't want your girlfriend to break up with you.

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    Default re: The difference between "anxious" and "worried"

    I'm very surprised to read your response. Usually we talk about being "anxious" as something that could be upsetting, and "eager" as something pleasant.

    To me, the difference between "worried" and "anxious" is that anxious is milder.

    I am eager to see him because he's my favorite uncle.

    I am anxious about seeing him because the last time we met, we had an argument and although he says he has forgiven me, I'm afraid it will be awkward.

    I'm worried about the meeting because I was supposed to that report done and it's not nearly finished; I could even lose my job.

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    supada is offline Senior Member
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    Default re: The difference between "anxious" and "worried"

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I'm very surprised to read your response. Usually we talk about being "anxious" as something that could be upsetting, and "eager" as something pleasant.

    To me, the difference between "worried" and "anxious" is that anxious is milder.

    I am eager to see him because he's my favorite uncle.

    I am anxious about seeing him because the last time we met, we had an argument and although he says he has forgiven me, I'm afraid it will be awkward.

    I'm worried about the meeting because I was supposed to that report done and it's not nearly finished; I could even lose my job.

    Can I say that 'worried' in place of 'anxious' or 'anxious' in place of 'worried' in the same situation?
    Last edited by supada; 10-Nov-2008 at 00:58.

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    Default re: The difference between "anxious" and "worried"

    I would say that "worried" is more like "very anxious."

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    supada is offline Senior Member
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    Default re: The difference between "anxious" and "worried"

    Thanks, Barb_D.

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    Default re: The difference between "anxious" and "worried"

    Hi Barb, so would anxious never mean eager? I thought it could mean either eager or worried.

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    Default re: The difference between "anxious" and "worried"

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I would say that "worried" is more like "very anxious."
    I'd have to dispute that, I'm afraid (pun intended)
    You can be slightly worried, and you can be very anxious. For example phobias are conditions of intense anxiety. People who cannot fly or get into lifts (elevators) are more than "worried". They are scared witless.
    But perhaps you are using "anxious" in a way that does not imply "anxiety"?
    For example, "I am anxious to meet your sister. She sounds very nice". This is in the sense of "eager", which banderas is asking about.

    Context plays a large part in the use of these words, as it tends to in words describing emotions.

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    Default re: The difference between "anxious" and "worried"

    I agree that they don't overlap completely. I thought we were talking about the examples I had given about being anxious about seeing someone with whom you had last had a quarrel compared to being worried about a meeting at work when a major failure of yours would be revealed.

    On the one hand, in contrast to my prior post, this is what Columbia says:
    anxious, eager. The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. 1993
    Anxious meaning “eager” is unquestionably Standard English, even though some purists have long urged that we use anxious to mean only “nervous, apprehensive, or fearful” and let the word eager replace anxious in sentences such as She was anxious to meet her new teacher. If you say “I’m anxious to get started,” everyone will understand your eagerness, some may understand that you are nervous at having failed to get started sooner, and others may not recognize any nervousness in the statement at all. Both “eagerness” and “nervousness” are Standard senses.

    On the other hand, supporting my post, this is what www.m-w.com has to say: synonyms eager , avid , keen , anxious , athirst mean moved by a strong and urgent desire or interest. eager implies ardor and enthusiasm and sometimes impatience at delay or restraint <eager to get started>. avid adds to eager the implication of insatiability or greed <avid for new thrills>. keen suggests intensity of interest and quick responsiveness in action <keen on the latest fashions>. anxious emphasizes fear of frustration or failure or disappointment <anxious not to make a social blunder>. athirst stresses yearning but not necessarily readiness for action <athirst for adventure>.

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    thru is offline Member
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    Default re: The difference between "anxious" and "worried"

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I'm very surprised to read your response. Usually we talk about being "anxious" as something that could be upsetting, and "eager" as something pleasant.

    To me, the difference between "worried" and "anxious" is that anxious is milder.

    I am eager to see him because he's my favorite uncle.

    I am anxious about seeing him because the last time we met, we had an argument and although he says he has forgiven me, I'm afraid it will be awkward.

    I'm worried about the meeting because I was supposed to that report done and it's not nearly finished; I could even lose my job.
    Hi Barb,
    You said 'anxious' is milder than 'worried'. Is
    'concerned' milder or stronger than 'anxious'?
    Thanks!

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